Controlling Plant Fungus In the Knoxville Area

Plant Fungus is the source of about 80% of all plant disease. These organisms actively penetrate plant tissue and are usually visible on infected plants. In other words, we can see fungus on plants and it ain’t pretty!

Fungus growth is usually enhanced by warm, humid or moist conditions. Plant fungus can start being a problem in late spring or early summer in the greater Knoxville area of East Tennessee. Plants that are susceptible to fungal disease are likely to show signs of the disease during this time and throughout the summer months.

There are different types of fungal diseases, many of which produce spores (tiny reproductive bodies). These spores can spread around the garden by wind, water, insects and humans. We spread spores with infected tools, gloves or just using our hands touching infected plants then touching other plants. Some spores can survive in the soil, even when there is nothing growing there. They are just waiting, ready for us to introduce a susceptible plant, then, bang, there it is.

Plant Fungus Control

          So what can we do to control fungus in our gardens? First, we can try to use disease resistant plants. Next, we can provide growing conditions that discourages the disease. A couple of simple solutions are to let the ground dry out between watering’s and pruning the plant to let air flow and sunlight in.

If you have plants that get fungus every year, start spraying these plants with a fungicide early in the season to prevent the disease from getting started.  Unfortunately, the infected leaves will not become healthy again.  At Willow Ridge, we like to pull the infected leaves off if it doesn’t completely defoliate the plant. It is important to rake up leaves that have fallen in your flower beds.  Some fungi can overwinter on the fallen leaves.  The infected leaves should be put in trash bags or on a burn pile. DO NOT put these infected leaves on the ground or in a compost pile!

Some of the names of fungus disease describe how the fungus looks on the plant. Here are a few: Black Spot, Downy Mildew, Gray Mold, Leaf Spot, Powdery Mildew, Rust, Scab and Sooty Mold.

There are many brand name fungicides on the market. A lot of them have the same active ingredients. Always read the label before applying any fungicide. Ask the experts here at Willow Ridge to help you with your fungus problems. Give us a call: 865-481-3825

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